DOI link for Equality
The equal-results model of social regulation, when applied to civil rights policy, has clashed with the vision of a color-blind Constitution. The United States has always been ambivalent about equality. Our fundamental documents have embodied this contradiction in viewpoints. Equality means to treat things or people the same. In the United States, political equality has usually referred to voting, the most basic act of democracy. The first major thrust toward political equality came in the 1820s, when property qualification for voting was eliminated by the states. That is, one no longer had to own property to have the right to vote. The second step toward political equality came after the abolitionist movement and the Civil War. The next movement toward political equality focused on women. The second major meaning of equality is equality of opportunity. The Civil War was fought to determine the nature of the union, but the ultimate cause was slavery.